Avengers: Infinity War had more deaths of major characters than the whole of the previous 18 movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe put together. The loss of the likes of Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man and the Guardians (bar Rocket) proved so shocking as they came a film too early. Don’t get us wrong; fans were well prepared for the galaxy’s greatest heroes to face death in Avengers 4, but not in its predecessor.
In light of Infinity War‘s jaw-dropping ending, it’s worth revisiting some comments Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige made about the upcoming sequel back in March. The big cheese teased that fans shouldn’t expect lots of death from the pic, which will wrap up the first decade of the MCU. To get across his point about what sort of finale the film will be, Feige compared it to the last episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
“People always will jump to that [lots of death]. That’s not necessarily what we’re talking about. I talk a lot, because I’m a big-ass nerd, about Star Trek: The Next Generation, “All Good Things.” That to me is one of the best series finales ever. That wasn’t about death. Picard went and played poker with the crew, something he should have done a long time ago, right?”
One of the Trek franchise’s finest ever episodes, “All Good Things” – as Feige says – is not a doom-laden finale as such, but acts more as a celebration of what’s come before. Tellingly, it involves time travel to explore the past, present and future of the characters’ lives. Given that it’s been all but confirmed that Avengers 4 will see the heroes travel back through their own pasts, including revisiting the events of The Avengers, it looks like Feige was more inspired by TNG than he let on.
It’s possible, then, that Marvel got all the shocking deaths out the way in Infinity War, leaving Avengers 4 to offer a more nostalgic, celebratory closer to the story so far. But what does that mean for the likes of Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr., who are rumored to be exiting the franchise after this movie? Well, we’re not sure, but we’ll find out when Earth’s Mightiest Heroes return next May.